Category Archives: Anaheim Ducks Shirts

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ANAHEIM, CA — The Dallas Eakins Era in Anaheim has gotten through its first growing pain.

The pain arrived in the form of a sprained MCL for Josh Manson on October 24th against the Dallas Stars. Anaheim would only manage four wins in its following 10 games, denting the club’s playoff hopes. To lose is one thing, but the Ducks’ overall game dipped into dark waters during that stretch. With Manson now healthy and back in the lineup, there’s optimism that Eakins’ squad can find its game again.

Until Manson’s MCL injury, Anaheim’s newly-minted head coach had his club playing solid, if unspectacular hockey, to the tune of a 52.23 expected goals-for percentage at five-on-five. The 28-year-old defenseman’s presence allowed for Eakins to deploy his blueline in a very specific way. Manson, alongside Hampus Lindholm on the first pairing, ate up all the tough assignments, making way for the up-tempo tandem of Cam Fowler and Brendan Guhle to play a more offensive style against weaker competition. The synthesis of those two pairings sheltered Anaheim’s third pairing of Jacob Larsson and Korbinian Holzer. Lindholm and Manson did not necessarily dominate in their role, but the ripple effect on the other two pairings was undeniable. Guhle, in particular, looked confident joining the rush and provide that added layer of attack that so many had envisioned under an Eakins-led team. Those visions soon vanished with the fall of a single domino.

Anaheim would see the delicate balance of its blueline construction buckle alongside Manson that fateful night in Dallas. Ducks’ General Manager Bob Murray sought immediate support, plucking physical defenseman Erik Gudbranson out of Pittsburgh by way of trade just a few days later.

Yet, as Gudbranson tried to find his bearings on a new club, Anaheim would suffer another setback in the form of an injury to Lindholm. Any possible solution for Manson’s absence went out the window, as Eakins had to contend with a war on two fronts. Lindholm would eventually return, but the damage was done. The Ducks saw their expected goals-for percentage go from well over 50 percent at the time of Manson’s injury, all the way down to 45 percent by mid-November. Eakins tried just about everything. Larsson got time next to Lindholm on the first pairing, Michael Del Zotto would see big minutes, even Holzer was thrust into critical penalty killing minutes. Nothing seemed to really stick, perhaps hinting at an overall lack of depth. Both Guhle and Larsson badly struggled in Manson’s absence; both have since been sent down to the minors. Eakins tried to minimize their work-loads as best as he could by alternating them on the third pairing, but even that didn’t work.

The passage of time tends to provide solutions. For Eakins, the return of Lindholm brought back a semblance of stability. Fowler and Gudbranson formed a workable second pairing, while Josh Mahura arose as Anaheim’s most polished defensive prospect. Del Zotto, the well-traveled veteran, did well in spot minutes.

Where the Ducks once struggled to control the pace of play, they now have a new-found level of credibility. Although the scoreboard results haven’t been there, strong road performances against the likes of Washington and Winnipeg indicate that the club has left its darkest struggles behind. From a low point of 42.8 percent, Anaheim has clawed its way up to a rolling average of 49.18 percent from an expected goals-for perspective. That’s a considerable spike, showing how the Ducks have both managed to tighten up their own defensive zone work while also transitioning that into greater offensive chances.

Anaheim’s most recent loss against Los Angeles both demonstrated just how far the club has come, and also how much further it has to go. Just as they did against Minnesota earlier in the week, Eakins’ men limited their opposition’s offensive opportunities. Sure, the Kings got their licks in, but gone were the complete defensive breakdowns that had so often marked their long stretch of losses.

The challenge now turns to the offensive zone, where the coaching staff is searching for line combinations to spark its forwards. Jonathan Quick did indeed stand on his head for Los Angeles, turning aside 36 of 37 shots, but the Ducks had plenty of golden opportunities that they simply failed to capitalize on.

Ideally, Eakins would like his team to play a faster attacking style, something that’s a lot harder to accomplish without a stable blueline. With the back end now sorted out, the focus now turns to making sure there won’t be too many more games like the one that happened on Thursday night.

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When the Washington Capitals first met the Anaheim Ducks this season on November 18, the game went off the rails. During an especially spirited second period, Garnet Hathaway spit on Erik Gudbranson after the Ducks defenseman landed a sucker punch as the two were separated by an official. An angry Gudbranson, afterward, said the spitting “was something you just don’t do in a game – and he did it.” Hathaway, who was ejected, expressed regret. The Capitals forward was later suspended three games by the NHL.

Coming into Friday’s rematch, both teams said all the right things and downplayed what happened in November. They were more interested in the “big two points on the line.” But the Ducks later revealed that was bologna after the game was over.

According to a story by The Athletic’s Eric Stephens, Hathaway was approached by Ducks enforcer Nicolas Deslauriers during a first-period faceoff and was asked to fight and pick his poison.

“I just asked him if he was going to respond,” Deslauriers said to Stephens. “He had the option to choose me or [Gudbranson], and he said he was going to choose [Gudbranson].”

Deslauriers later fought Radko Gudas after the Capitals defenseman injured Nick Ritchie with a borderline late hip check.

Deslauriers landed 12 straight punches to Gudas’s head as the Czech d-man crumpled to the ice.

Eventually, Gudbranson and Hathaway had an angry confrontation four minutes and 56 seconds into the second period. Both players dropped their gloves but were separated by two officials. The two combatants each got 10-minute misconducts. Gudbranson got an extra minor for unsportsmanlike conduct which was served by Devin Shore.

In the third period, the two players finally fought after Gudbrandson landed a big hit into Hathaway’s chest. The two players only exchanged a handful of punches before Hathaway fell to the ice. 70 percent of HockeyFights.com commenters declared Gudbranson the victor.

After the game, Ryan Getzlaf, the Ducks’ captain, called Hathaway “cowardly” for taking so long to respond.

“Hathaway could have done a lot better job at sticking up for himself,” Getzlaf said. “Answering the bell when he should have. I thought it was a cowardly thing to do to sit around and wait and wait and wait and act like he gets to make the decision when he spit on someone.”

Getzlaf added “[t]here used to be a pride and a code in our game that you answer the bell when you do things like that.”

Gudbranson expressed disappointment too but at least appeared to move on.

“Not ideal from my standpoint,” Gudbranson said. “I thought it was a pretty simple thing to deal with but he handled it the way he wanted to handle it, which is certainly not the way I would have, but at the end of the day, it happened and I’m happy it’s over with and I can put it to bed.”

The Capitals and Ducks will not play again this season unless they play each other in the Stanley Cup Final. The Capitals won both games by a combined score of 8-4.

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The Anaheim Ducks announced today that they three skaters will miss time due to injuries.

Troy Terry will miss approximately 10 weeks after suffering a broken bone below his kneecap. He took a knee-to-knee hit during the Flyers game yesterday in the second period and had to be helped off the ice. Terry had eight points (3G, 5A) in 33 games this season. The 22-year-old suffered a broken leg injury late last season that caused him to miss significant time as well.

The club also announced that Derek Grant would miss 4-6 weeks with sprain to his AC (shoulder) joint. No surgery is required, but the injury will force the Ducks to replace Grant on the 4th line as well as on the penalty kill and on the power play. Grant has had a career season so far with nine goals on the year. It is unclear how he suffered the injury.

Finally, Jacob Larsson was announced as day-to-day with an unspecified upper body injury.

To help fill the roster spots, the Ducks earlier today recalled left winger Max Jones and center Isac Lundestrom with the already present Sam Carrick filling in for Grant on the 4th line.

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There’s been a lot of talk about Ryan Getzlaf and him increasing his shots per game this season under Dallas Eakins. At face value, he’s scored more goals than we fans would expect and is on pace for 30 goals on the year. A mark he’s only hit once (2013-2014) in his career with the Anaheim Ducks. This would naturally seem like a good thing and thus the praise has been forthcoming for the player and the coach who has gotten through to him. More is better right? Maybe. Maybe not.

At a glance, the team, as a group, are getting an average of 28.9 shots on net per game. This can be further broken down to 26.5 shots in games they win, and 30.1 shots in games they lose. It’s almost become a bit of joke that they haven’t won a game in which they’ve outshot their opponent. Although score-effect has a lot to do with that.

The 28.9 average ranks the Ducks 27th in the league for this particular metric. Most fans, whether they’re all about that old school thug life, or they bat off over “advanced statistics,” would recognize that more shots are better than less and that more shots are more likely to result in more goals. Thus, Getzlaf as an individual shooting the puck more is considered an overall boon.
The Anaheim Duck Don’t Win More with Getzlaf Increasing His Shots

At a glance, Getzlaf is shooting at the 4th highest rate of his career, which is the highest since the 2014-2015 season. To put that in perspective, he’s shooting 8.5% more across all situations. A number that can be broken down to a 15% increase at even strength. This season, he’s shooting the puck near enough to 2.5 times per game (2.47 to be precise), subdivided to 1.87 times at even strength and 0.53 on the powerplay. All this is part of the Anaheim Ducks new system of shooting the puck from wherever they can, whenever they can.

However, as mentioned above the Ducks seemingly shoot the puck far less in games they win. This too is true for Getzlaf. In games the Ducks win, Getzlaf is shooting the puck 1.16 times per game at even strength. In fact, the Ducks have only won 2 games in which Getzlaf has shot over his season average. Let that sink in.

The Anaheim Ducks have won 2 games in which Getzlaf has had 3 or more shots per game. However, the Ducks are a team that has lost a lot of games of late, so this may not surprise. What may surprise is that the Ducks score fewer goals as a group in games which Getzlaf has 3 or more shots. Specifically, when Getzlaf has 0-to-2 shot in the game, the Ducks average 3 goals. When Getzlaf has 3 or more shots on net, they score 2.15 goals per game.

All that is to say that Getzlaf shooting the puck more isn’t necessarily better, and it’s incredibly lazy to suggest that it may be the case. However, in some cases, this may actually hold true. This season Getzlaf is shooting 11.9% less on average per game, on the power-play, than his career average. This is also the 4th lowest total of his career to date. The discerning fan will recognize that the Ducks power-play is truly abysmal (10.5% conversion rate) and ranked 2nd last in the league.
Getzlaf Shooting More Has Improved the Power Play

However, while Getzlaf is merely shooting 0.53 times per game while on the power-play, the Ducks have scored power-play goals in 6 of the 13 games in which Getzlaf has registered a shot on net in this facet of the game. This is in stark comparison to the 2 goals in 17 games in which Getzlaf has not had a shot on net during the power-play.

So taken together, we can establish that Getzlaf shooting more at even strength may not necessarily be beneficial to the teams’ success, yet him shooting more on the power play might be. These two phenomena may not necessarily be mutually exclusive things. We know from a very long career, that Getzlaf is one of the best pure passing players in the game. Him looking to shoot the puck more takes away from his greatest strength and limits the abilities of other players to score. At even strength, general play is more fluid, thus threading the needle with a deft pass is likely to result in a shot on net from a dangerous position.

On the power-play, however, and particularly on the Ducks power play, the general flow of play is more stagnant. The puck moves around the outside basically waiting for a defensive lapse to occur. Getzlaf making these types of passes does not really help to get quality scoring chances. However, Getzlaf does possess a heavy shot, and it is a good shot when he uses it. This of course why people want him to shoot the puck more. At even strength, it doesn’t measure up to his ability to pass, but on a stagnant power-play his shot can create rebounds and thus dangerous follow up opportunities to score.

Taken together we can see that the Anaheim Ducks may have the right mindset, but poor application. More shots overall is a positive trend. This should be at a team level however and not necessarily the captain. He is a gifted passer of the puck, and while he is currently scoring at a high percentage, we know passing is more likely to be a reproducible skill as he ages. We can see from above that Getzlaf shooting more at even strength, correlates to others shooting less, and the Ducks, as a team, scoring less. We can also see that he’s doing less on the power-play and that this change too, is hurting the team score overall.

I admire the captain taking more upon himself in certain situations, however, it may be time for the coaching staff to step in and give him a nudge in the right direction once again. Coaches should be placing players in positions to best use their strengths and this should be no different. It may be time to push the captain to utilize all the strengths he’s shown us over the past decade and more.

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Chris Kreider scored twice and Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves as the New York Rangers won a tough and physical game against the Anaheim Ducks, 5-1, at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. It snapped a three game losing streak.

There was a scary moment in the third period when Filip Chytil went slamming into the boards knees first after Korbinian Holzer’s stick hit his foot. Chytil laid on the ice for a few minutes but eventually skated off with help from head athletics trainer Jim Ramsay. He did return to play in the period but looked uncomfortable.

Earlier in the game it was a Chytil who got the Rangers on the board first. The scoring got underway about seven minutes into the first period. Brendan Lemieux chipped a pass to Filip Chytil in the neutral zone, and Chytil skated all the way to the net and back-handed a shot past Ryan Miller to give the Rangers the early lead.

Only a minute later, Brett Howden knocked in a loose puck hanging after a saved shot from Anthony DeAngelo to give the Blueshirts a 2-0 advantage.

At about halfway through the period, Anaheim’s Sam Steel knocked in a puck that was in mid-air past Henrik Lundqvist to put the Ducks on the board.

But Kreider took a pass in the neutral zone three minutes later, and just like Chytil, skated all the way through the neutral zone and forced the puck past Miller to give the Rangers the 3-1 lead, which held until the end of the period.

The second period was extremely intense, and it may very well be the Rangers’ most physical period of hockey so far this season.

16 minutes into the period, Kreider deflected a pass by Zibanejad from behind the net, which led to another goal and put the Rangers up 4-1.

But mere moments later, a rather unusual incident occurred involving Lemieux. Erik Gudbranson gave Lemieux a shove, and challenged Lemieux to a bout. Lemieux skated away after Gudbranson dropped the gloves.

Gudbranson was given a 10 minute misconduct for slamming his sticking snapping it in half afterwards, and Lemieux was given a minor penalty.

As the second period ended, Lemieux was handed a 10-minute misconduct and a two-minute roughing minor for punching Hampus Lindholm at the end of the period.

To start the third, Zibanejad scored his third shorthanded goal of the season to give the Rangers a 5-1 edge.

Later on, Michael Haley and Nicolas Deslauriers gave the Garden faithful an amazing bout, which ended with Deslauriers getting pinned to the ice by Haley. Both received five-minute majors.

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The Detroit Red Wings are nearly halfway through their third season of play at the new Little Caesars Arena, but the venue isn’t complete.

Sergei Fedorov’s famous number 91 needs to be raised to the rafters.

The Red Wings seemingly adopted Fedorov when they helped him secretly defect from the Soviet Union in 1990. For the better part of a decade, Fedorov went on to become among the most dynamic, explosive, and exciting players not only to don the Winged Wheel but in the entire National Hockey League.

He won the 1994 Hart Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player as well as the Selke Trophy in 1994 and 1996 as the NHL’s best defensive forward. During his entire Red Wings career, he scored 400 goals – many of which will forever remain on NHL highlight reels. Fedorov also received praise from figures such as Wayne Gretzky, who stated: “I have never seen a player dominate the game the way Sergei did.”

Of course, Fedorov was also an integral part of three Stanley Cup champion winning teams in 1997, 1998, and 2002.

The alleged theories as to why his number isn’t officially and permanently enshrined in team history are well known. The first instance goes back to Fedorov’s infamous signing of a heavy front-loaded offer sheet from the Carolina Hurricanes, who are run by Peter Karmanos – a bitter business adversary of the late Mike Ilitch. What better way to stick it to your rival by poaching one of his best players?

The Red Wings reluctantly matched Carolina’s offer, and were forced to pay Fedorov a total of $28 million (most of which were bonuses) for the 1997-98 season alone.

Secondly was the well-publicized ultimate divorce from the Red Wings, leaving to sign a free-agent deal with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the summer of 2003 (who had just swept Detroit from the playoffs months earlier) for less money than he was offered by Detroit. The bolt left a bitter taste in the mouths of fans, and they mercilessly booed Fedorov upon his return to Detroit with the Mighty Ducks in December of 2003.

All of this, however, occurred well over a decade ago. Fans seemed to have softened their stance on Fedorov, whom they adored and then viewed as a modern-day Benedict Arnold.

Fedorov was warmly received by the fans during the 2014 Winter Classic Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park that preceded the Winter Classic between the Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. Additionally, he was given a standing ovation when he dropped the puck for the ceremonial faceoff in November of 2015 at Joe Louis Arena shortly after his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He also admitted that while he’d feel honored to have his number retired, he’s still going to look back fondly at his memories with the team no matter what.

“I don’t want to put any pressure. It’s going to be a great honor if it happens,” Fedorov said. “If it’s not, it’s still (an honor) to be a part of it for 13 seasons here, three Cups and celebrations, rallies, victory rallies. What else can you wish for?”

The Detroit Pistons did the right thing and looked past the bitter departure of defensive star Ben Wallace to the Chicago Bulls in 2006, retiring his No. 3 permanently in 2003. There’s absolutely no reason why the Red Wings can’t do the same with Fedorov, whose accolades far outweigh what Wallace brought to Detroit.

When you think of all-time Red Wings greats, Sergei Fedorov is right there with Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidstrom, Gordie Howe, and Ted Lindsay amongst others. Number 91 needs to be right next to numbers 1 (Terry Sawchuck), 5 (Lidstrom), 7 (Lindsay), 9 (Howe), 10 (Alex Delvecchio) 12 (Sid Abel), and 19 (Yzerman).

It’s time to let bygones be bygones. It’s impossible to ignore the legacy of Fedorov and the undeniable accomplishments that were as much a part of the Red Wings success as anyone’s.

Little Caesars Arena won’t be fully finished without the extra detail of another retired number taking its rightful place in the rafters.

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IRVINE — Ryan Getzlaf called out the Ducks after they succumbed to the quick-strike offense of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. He said they quit after giving up the tiebreaking goal in a 6-2 loss. He said they weren’t tough enough in front of the nets. He also didn’t spare himself from criticism.

Harsh words, but Getzlaf believed they needed to be said.

Getzlaf then showed the Ducks how to do it right during their 3-0 victory over the sizzling New York Islanders on Monday night. He led and the Ducks followed closely behind their longtime captain, ending a three-game losing streak (0-2-1) while winning for only the second time in 10 games (2-5-3).

He talked a good game Saturday and then played one Monday against the league’s hottest team. He scored the Ducks’ first goal against New York and set up their second. He also was credited with two shots on goal, two hits, two takeaways and seven victories in 12 trips to the faceoff circle.

“He’s our leader,” Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said. “We understand sometimes we need a kick in the butt, and he’s the guy who can provide that. On any given night, you know he’s going to come out and compete. Even if he’s not on the score sheet, he’s working, he’s killing penalties, he’s playing physical. He’s a guy we look to when times get tough.”

With the Ducks in transition and no longer capable of making the deep playoff runs of season’s past, Getzlaf has been asked to accept new challenges this season, including the mentorship of a group of young players who are expected to comprise the new foundation of the franchise.

Slowly but certainly, Getzlaf, 34, has emerged as a leader in goals, assists and so much more.

“He’s been one of the best players in the league for a really long time and it’s not by accident,” said Sam Steel, a 22-year-old center. “He’s awesome. He’s always trying to help me out. It’s nothing specific. It could be certain times in the game. Just little things here and there.

“He’ll let me know when I’m doing a good job. He’s been really helpful. It’s been really good.”

Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg were the Ducks’ co-leaders with nine goals apiece going into Wednesday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz. Getzlaf also has 10 assists, one more than Silfverberg, Rickard Rakell and Hampus Lindholm.

Getzlaf has done it all while averaging only 18:13 of ice time, his lowest figure since the second season of his Hall of Fame-caliber career. Back in 2006-07, he was more of a follower than a leader on a team that Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger and Teemu Selanne guided to the Stanley Cup.

Getzlaf has been on board with everything the 2019-20 Ducks are trying to accomplish. Ducks coach Dallas Eakins got the sense right from their first offseason meeting that Getzlaf did not need to be given a sales job. He was ready for a new challenge.

“You know when you’re talking to somebody, you either get a sense from their body language or their tone or whatever it is, are they feeding me a bunch of (expletive) or are they being truthful?” Eakins said. “I really believed he spoke from the heart.

“I don’t think I should have had anything contrary in my head. He’s been the captain here. He’s invested much into this organization and this organization has invested much into him. So, I just believed coming out of there that he had the organization … and his teammates first in his thoughts.

“For me, if there’s anybody who has been leading the charge, pounding home the message, being totally on board, it has been him. And that’s encouraging to see. It’s inspiring to see. Not only is he invested in playing well himself, he’s invested in seeing not just the young guys but all his teammates get better.”

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EDMONTON – Phillip Danault se souvient très bien de ce qu’on lui a demandé à sa première année professionnelle à Rockford dans la Ligue américaine de hockey (LAH).

« On me disait qu’on aimerait que je modèle mon jeu sur (Marcus) Kruger », a-t-il raconté, vendredi, après l’entraînement du Canadien.

Marcus Kruger. L’exercice en est un de mémoire, n’est-ce pas, alors allons se la rafraîchir.

Marcus Kruger, donc. Pivot suédois de 29 ans, ancien choix de 5e tour des Blackhawks de Chicago en 2009, qui a participé aux conquêtes de la Coupe Stanley en 2013 et 2015 dans un rôle secondaire, voire tertiaire.

Il campait un rôle défensif, éteignoir, contre les meilleurs éléments adverses, un peu à la manière de Samuel Pahlsson avec les Ducks d’Anaheim en 2007 si les (un peu) plus vieux d’entre vous préfèrent la comparaison.

Kruger joue aujourd’hui dans la Ligue A, en Suisse. En 8 saisons dans la LNH, il n’a jamais réussi plus de 9 buts, jamais inscrit plus de 28 points.

« Sans rien enlever à Kruger, je me disais “Ok, c’est un bon départ, mais il me semble que je suis capable d’aller chercher un autre niveau” », a expliqué le Québécois.

À l’époque, Danault amorce sa carrière par une saison timide, du moins sur le plan offensif, dans la LAH. Rapidement, les Hawks, déjà bien nantis dans l’axe avec Jonathan Toews, prévoient en faire un centre essentiellement défensif.

Puis, « j’ai été échangé à Montréal et ça a été la meilleure chose de pouvoir prouver à moi-même et à toute la ligue que j’étais capable d’être un solide centre complet. »

C’est peut-être ce qui est le plus étonnant du parcours du jeune homme de 26 ans jusqu’à présent : sa capacité à changer les idées préconçues. Lorsqu’on vous colle une étiquette sur le casque, il devient difficile de la faire oublier.

Je ne sais pas s’il me surprend, c’était un bon joueur junior. Mais il a commencé sa carrière en étant un centre un peu plus défensif. Il joue avec des gars qui ont du talent offensif alors c’est sûr que ça aide. Sa confiance a grandi aussi avec cette situation.
Claude Julien

Aujourd’hui, Danault est le premier centre d’une formation qui bataille pour une place en séries éliminatoires. N’en déplaise à ses détracteurs, les chiffres démontrent qu’il n’a que peu à envier à la fine fleur de sa profession.

Le centre est confronté soir après soir aux meilleurs trios de la LNH avec comme mission principale de les freiner dans leurs velléités offensives. Accessoirement, Danault doit produire avec ses ailiers puisque le Canadien souffre présentement, jusqu’au match contre Calgary en tout cas, d’une collaboration inconstante de ses autres trios.

Malgré tout, le Victoriavillois affiche le troisième taux de possession de rondelle parmi tous les joueurs de centre du circuit, soit 58,4 % selon Natural Stat Trick.

Petit saut en arrière. Lorsque David Desharnais a quitté Montréal, Max Pacioretty se plaisait à jouer principalement avec un joueur centre : Danault.

Sans noircir lui-même la feuille de pointage, sa capacité à créer des revirements en zone neutre, sa combativité en échec-avant et son intelligence du jeu sont autant de facettes qui dégageaient de l’espace pour l’ancien capitaine.

Ses compagnons de trios actuels, Tomas Tatar et Brendan Gallagher, en profitent à leur tour sauf que cette fois le Québécois touche aussi sa part du butin.

Avec 23 points amassés à forces égales cette saison, il pointe au 8e rang parmi tous les centres de la ligue et au 21e si on ajoute tous les patineurs dans l’équation. Il en a récolté autant qu’Alexander Ovechkin et que Mark Stone.

« C’est du stock, c’est gros », a-t-il laissé tomber. On pourrait dire ça, en effet.

J’ai toujours cru en moi, c’est sûr. Avec la confiance, on peut accomplir de grandes choses.
Phillip Danault

Il vogue présentement sur un rythme de 61 points cette saison après en avoir récolté 53 l’an dernier. Il avait d’ailleurs terminé au 7e rang du scrutin pour l’obtention du trophée Selke remis au meilleur attaquant défensif, avec 80 votes.

La carrière de l’ancien des Tigres de Victoriaville est simplement entrée dans une autre dimension au cours de la dernière année. Pour remporter le trophée Selke, il faut bâtir sa réputation une brique à la fois.

Votre nom commence d’abord par être murmuré dans les corridors, puis, vous obtenez vos premiers votes. Si vous maintenez la cadence pendant quelques saisons, possible que vous gagniez suffisamment en popularité pour vous approcher de la récompense.

Peut-il, un jour, devenir un candidat crédible?

« Il pourrait l’être assurément. Il y a beaucoup de bons joueurs qui peuvent être dans la course et il est certainement l’un d’entre eux. C’est une bonne ligue, il y a beaucoup de bons joueurs. Ce n’est pas facile de remporter ce trophée. J’ai joué avec Pavel Datsyuk. J’ai joué avec beaucoup de bons joueurs et il est l’un d’entre eux », a estimé son ailier gauche, Tomas Tatar.

Sauf qu’il faut engranger de bonnes statistiques. Depuis 2005-2006, tous les lauréats avaient réussi au moins 70 points, à une exception près que nous appellerons la clause Patrice Bergeron.

La vedette des Bruins, que le joueur du Canadien a toujours eue comme modèle d’ailleurs, a été la seule à mettre la main sur le Selke, à 4 reprises s’il vous plaît, avec des campagnes de 64, 62, 55 et 53 points.

Pour Danault, tout cela n’a que peu d’importance. Des rêvasseries romantiques qui n’ont que peu d’effet sur le match de samedi contre les Oilers.

Sa plus grande réussite, au fond, aura probablement été de forcer les autres à changer leur opinion à son égard.

« Dans la Ligue nationale, ton jeu fait foi de tout. Il a fait un bon travail pour saisir les occasions qu’on lui a offertes. C’est la façon de faire pour tous les joueurs », a conclu Brendan Gallagher.
En rafale

Le Canadien a tenu un entraînement complet d’une vingtaine de minutes seulement dans le but de préparer son duel contre les Oilers d’Edmonton samedi soir à 19 h (HNE).

Nick Cousins était le seul absent de la séance puisqu’il profitait d’une journée de traitements.

Les Oilers affrontent les Penguins vendredi soir à Edmonton. La troupe de Dallas Eakins a perdu de sa superbe récemment et affiche un dossier de 3-5-1 au mois de décembre. N’empêche, Connor McDavid (59 points) et Leon Draisaitl (58) trônent toujours au sommet des marqueurs de la ligue.

Victor Mete et Jesperi Kotkaniemi se sont à nouveau entraînés avec leurs coéquipiers sans toutefois recevoir de contacts.

Mete (cheville) se rapproche d’un retour au jeu, potentiellement dès Winnipeg lundi selon Claude Julien, tandis que Kotkaniemi (commotion cérébrale) est encore évalué quotidiennement.

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Kevin Boyle made 35 saves in his first career start and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Vancouver Canucks 1-0 Wednesday night in general manager Bob Murray’s first game as interim coach.

Jakob Silfverberg scored to help the Ducks end a seven-game losing streak, a skid which prompted Murray to fire coach Randy Carlyle on Sunday and take over for the rest of the season.

Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves for the Canucks, who have lost four straight road games.

The 64-year-old Murray had never coached professionally at any level but got the response he had been looking for, with Silfverberg scoring 6:30 into the first period to give the Ducks their first lead since getting the opening goal in a 5-1 loss at St. Louis on Jan. 23.

Anaheim maintained a feisty edge throughout the increasingly chippy game, with veteran forwards Ryan Kesler and Ryan Getzlaf each getting into fights.

However, the Ducks could not address all of the issues that had caused them lose 19 of their previous 21 games and plummet into last place in the Western Conference. The Canucks had a 35-22 advantage in shots, forcing Boyle to make several difficult saves.

Boyle, a 26-year-old undrafted rookie, joined John Gibson as the second Ducks goalie to record a shutout in his first NHL start.

Vancouver rookie Elias Pettersson also hit the crossbar with a powerful slap shot during a power play in the first period.

NOTES: Ducks D Cam Fowler played in his 595th game for Anaheim, passing Ruslan Salei for most appearances by a defenseman in team history. … Gibson was placed on injured reserve because of back, neck and head injuries.

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The Heroes of Motown roster has been announced.

Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios headlines the Detroit Red Wings alumni who have agreed to attend the 2020 edition of the Brockville Winter Classic. The annual hockey celebration weekend that raises money for Rotary Park features an exhibition game involving the alumni of an Original Six NHL team as well as the local Tim Hortons all-stars squad. The 2020 game will be held at the Memorial Centre on Sunday, Feb. 16.

Also on the Detroit roster that was announced on Monday are four-time Stanley Cup winner Darren McCarty as well as Todd Bertuzzi, Brad Marsh, Brad May and Brockville-area natives Randy Ladouceur and Todd Gill. Al Iafrate and Wayne Presley will also suit up with the Red Wings alumni; their NHL careers did not include Detroit, but both are from the Detroit area and have appeared at the Winter Classic.

“We’ve got a great crew in there,” said Winter Classic committee member Jeff Severson.

Landing Chelios is “great” for the organizing committee, Severson noted. He will be the fourth Hall of Famer to take part in the Brockville hockey celebration; the others are Guy Carbonneau, Ray Bourque and Denis Savard, who was part of the Chicago alumni who visited the city earlier this year.

“That’s pretty special,” Severson said of being able to bring hockey legends to Brockville and giving local residents an opportunity to meet them.

Chelios won two Stanley Cups during his decade as a player with Detroit. He started his NHL career with Montreal and was part of the cup-winning Canadiens team in 1986. Chelios was traded to Chicago in 1990 and played for the Blackhawks until he was traded to the Red Wings late in the 98/99 season. He retired at the age of 47.

Severson, a Montreal fan, recalled that his sister bought a Chelios jersey when they went to a Canadiens game when they were kids. It’s “awesome” that followers of Montreal, Detroit and Chicago will have a chance to see him in person in February.

Having two local alumni players in Gill and Ladouceur is also a plus for the classic, according to Severson. Ladouceur was with Detroit for three-plus seasons in the early and mid-’80s before going to the Hartford Whalers; Gill played for the Red Wings in the late ’90s and early 2000s near the end of his lengthy pro career.

The Winter Classic includes a hot stove gala with the alumni crew in the Memorial Centre community hall the night before the exhibition game. In addition to general admission tickets to the alumni game, there will also be dressing room passes that provide special access to the former NHL players during the first intermission.

This is the Winter Classic’s sixth year, and the fifth that features an NHL alumni team. Toronto is the remaining original six team; it will be featured in 2021.

The 2019 classic raised $58,000 for Rotary Park. Severson encourages local residents to visit the facility located at the west end of downtown Brockville and see for themselves how far the park enhancement project has progressed.